Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Any woman can be a feminist...at first

Here's the problem with this adolescent's assessment of feminism.

Even though most women want equality, none of my friends really consider themselves feminists either. When the most publicized females in media are Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, it’s hard to find a real role model who sings the praises of “Girl Power.”

Most people like the idea of female equality.

That doesn't make them feminists.


Because they do not buy into the feminist worldview in general: that post-modern, morally relativistic perspective of the world that rejects "essentialism"-- i.e. women are women and men are men.

If you analyze people's beliefs from a shallow point of view, most people are feminists.

Once you get beyond the slogans and the cliches, you realize that only a minority of people are feminists.

It soothes aspiring and wannabe feminists to feel like they're not as marginal as they think they are. Feminism more is saleable if it gives the impression that you are already part of the crowd and you don't have to change a thing about yourself.

Pop feminism is shallow and easy to adopt. It's a nice way to make them more open to the radical kind. But it's so watered down that almost anyone can be a feminist. Against domestic violence? Feminist. Care about women's health? Feminist. Want to promote science to women? Feminist. Like legal abortion? Feminist.

Until you say that capitalism is good. Or that men and women are different. Or that marriage should be between spouses of the opposite sex. Or that mothers should stay at home to take care of their kids.

Then you're not a feminist any more. Once you give any leeway to the patriarchy-- that's it: you are out!

Radical feminism in its most mainstream form requires acceptance of a certain conception of equality that most people do not share, and it's only with some analysis (or life experience) that people realize those values are not theirs.

And this is precisely why most women are not feminists.

Visit Opinions Canada
a political blogs aggregator